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Higher Education Dept concerned over fee increase reports

The department says that it has not made a pronouncement on a university fee increase for 2017.

FILE: Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande talks to the media. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Higher Education Department has raised concerns over the protests at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as well as the false reports that suggest government has reached a decision on fee increases.

Protests flared up at the institution last month in resistance to anticipated fee increments for 2017.

But the department says it is still in consultation with all parties concerned and has not pronounced on any tuition hikes. The department has also called for an end to reports claiming a hike has been approved.

Last month, Minister Blade Nzimande received a report from the Council on Higher Education which recommended a uniform inflation related fee increase.

The department says Nzimande has decided to gather further views from stakeholders before making an announcement which is expected later this month.

Government says its aware of the burden placed on working and middle class families and is trying to provide support for them.

In the meantime, protesting students have been urged not to participate in any activities that could place them on the wrong side of the law.